By all accounts, 2015 was pretty good for Hey Violet. For starters, the Los Angeles-based quartet had the summer vacation of a lifetime, opening for chart-topping pop-rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer on the massively popular Rock Out With Your Socks Out tour. The five-month worldwide trek found the band, now signed to 5SOS’s Hi Or Hey Records, thrust in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans nightly.

“We were playing some huge arenas,” says vocalist/bassist Rena Lovelis. “It was mind-blowing that we were even there.” Still, the band was always grinding, hosting a free, intimate acoustic performance daily as a way to connect with listeners and build up their fanbase. Think of it as the most DIY thing a young band can do on an arena tour.

Read more: A different kind of ‘hangout’ with Hey Violet

“It’s inspiring, and it’s what we aim to do: make sure the kids who follow our band and listen to our music are inspired to make art or be creative,” Lovelis continues. “If you want to go paint a painting or dance to your favorite song, do that. It’s really hard to grasp when you think about it, but it’s humbling to think about our beginnings. You know, we started out in [LA club] the Viper Room. We can’t forget that or brush it under the rug. The Viper Room has so much history, but it keeps us grounded. By no means are we famous at all.”

Well, that depends on whom you ask. Late last year, Lovelis and her bandmates got an unexpected stamp of approval from none other than Taylor Swift, who tweeted her love for a live video of Hey Violet’s punked-out cover of “Blank Space.”

“I woke up to my phone breaking down from the amount of notifications I was getting,” the frontwoman says laughing about how she heard the news. “I was flipping out. It’s like, ‘Of course my phone breaks when I get all these important people texting me!’ It’s just my luck.”